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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (4)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (4)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine
- Maryland (1)
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (6)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas (2)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (3)
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming (1)
- *Washington, D.C.

International:
Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


7 / 25 books. 28% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


34 / 50 books. 68% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


40 / 52 books. 77% done!
Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Super Sleuths of the Book World


I've been a bit absent from the blog of late thanks to a huge genealogy project I'm working on.  It's the first step in earning accreditation from ICAPGen and it's been a doozy!  The finish line is in sight, so I'm taking a break from that to give my blog a little love today.  It's been feeling neglected, poor baby!  I'm just about ready to submit my genealogy project; after that, I'll be back to BBB to post long overdue reviews, announce the winner in the giveaway I hosted recently, comment on your posts, answer emails, etc.  In the meantime, let's riff on today's fun Top Ten Tuesday prompt:  Character Freebie (any topic you want that deals with book characters). 

As always, TTT is hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl.  Click on over to her blog to read some quick instructions, then join the party.  It's an enjoyable way to show your love across the book blogosphere, find new blogs to enjoy, and, of course, add to your always-growing TBR list.  What could be more fun?

For today's topic, I'm going to go with my Top Ten Favorite Fictional Sleuths You've (Probably) Never Heard Of.  It's no secret that I love me a good psychological thriller/crime novel, especially if it's set in an exotic locale.  Even though they're often gritty, gory, and disturbing, giving me nightmares and corroding my delicate soul, I can't seem to stay away from my guilty pleasure!  So, when I saw today's topic, I immediately knew I wanted to use this freebie to highlight some of my favorite crime-stopping stars of the fictional (book, not screen) world.

To be clear, I'm going to be talking about professionals (we'll save amateurs for another time), or at least characters who work closely with the police department, even if they're not coppers themselves.  Even though a list like this would usually include household-name sleuths like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Harry Bosch, etc., the truth is, I'm not much for classic mysteries and I haven't read a lot of the popular modern(ish) crime writers like Michael Connelly, Patricia Cornwell, Sue Grafton, etc.  So, yeah, the police personnel in this list might be folks with whom you're not familiar at the moment, but they're characters you're definitely going to want to get to know if you enjoy crime fiction.  All the folks featured are series leads, so the first book in their various series is shown.

Interestingly enough, my list features five police(ish) investigators from North America and five from the U.K.  I threw in a new favorite from Australia just to even things out.  I know I'm missing awesome detectives from all over the world, so please let me know which I should be getting to know.  Who are your favorite fictional detectives?   

Top Ten Eleven Favorite Fictional Sleuths You've (Probably) Never Heard Of: 


1.  Armand Gamache (Canada)—My hands-down favorite fictional detective of all-time is Louise Penny's delightful Chief Inspector Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec.  A consummate gentleman, he's intelligent, kind, and honorable.  He's also shrewd and tenacious when he needs to be.  I love him and his comrades so much that I'm reading this series slowly so I can savor every delicious word! 



2.  Dr. Temperance Brennan (Canada and U.S.)—Tempe is not a police officer, but she is a forensic anthropologist who works closely (very closely sometimes) with a sexy detective to solve murders both in Montreal and in the U.S.  Like her creator, Kathy Reichs, Tempe is a knowledgable, dedicated scientist.  She's also spunky, funny, caring, and just a whole lot of fun.  I've read all the books in this series and am stoked that a new one will be out soon.


3.  Bell Elkins (U.S.)—I've talked about this series, penned by Julia Keller, a lot, so this name may ring a bell (see what I did there?).  Belfa is the prosecuting attorney for a fictional, down-on-its-luck county in West Virginia.  Working with her friend in the local police department, she solves crimes committed by a host of quirky Appalachian characters.  I'm caught up on this series and anxiously awaiting the newest installment, The Cold Way Home, which comes out next month.


4.  Lincoln Rhyme (U.S.)—A brilliant creation of Jeffery Deaver, Lincoln is a quadriplegic forensic criminalist.  He's smart, sarcastic, self-deprecating, shrewd, and determined to put bad guys behind bars, even if, these days, he has to do it from a wheelchair.  I'm behind in this series, but it's one I enjoy, especially because of its unique hero.


5.  Anna Pigeon (U.S.)—Admittedly, I've only read the first book in Nevada Barr's series starring Anna, but I like her and will definitely read more about her.  In Track of the Cat—the series opener—she's a 39-year-old widow working as an enforcement ranger at a national park in Texas when she comes across the body of a dead colleague.  Unable to convince her superiors that the death is suspicious, Anna decides to investigate on her own.  As a sleuth, she's brave, compassionate, and likable.  I'll definitely pick up more books in this exciting series. 


6.  The Dublin Murder Squad (Ireland)—This is a bit of a cheat since the squad is made up of more than one detective, but still ... I've enjoyed all of Tana French's books starring this collection of coppers solving crimes in The Fair City.  French only publishes every two years, which makes die-hard fans like me very impatient for each new installment!


7.  Maeve Kerrigan (England)—This Irish-born detective constable works the mean streets of London in a constant effort to convict bad guys while proving herself to her mostly-male colleagues.  While the male coppers ridicule her for her "womanly" empathy, it's a big part of what makes her a great detective—and an eternally likable character.  Jane Casey has created a tough, but caring police professional of whom I just can't get enough.  Maeve's newest adventure, Cruel Acts, comes out soon.  I can't wait!


8.  Lacey Flint (England)—A detective constable assigned to locate London's stolen property, Lacey is just as enigmatic and complex as her oxymoronic name suggests.  Intent on proving herself capable of more than tracking down missing bicycles, she takes on risks and danger in an effort to show her male colleagues just how valuable she can really be.  Sharon Bolton is a master of gritty crime novels and Lacey Flint is, in my humble opinion, her greatest creation to date.


9.  Cormac Reily (Ireland)—With only two books under his belt, this detective sergeant working in Galway is a new kid on the block.  But he's definitely one to watch.  Cormac is an understated character, one who's going to be very intriguing to watch as his series moves on.  Dervla McTiernan has definitely caught my attention with the first two Cormac Reily books. I'm anxiously awaiting the third! 


10.  Fin Macleod (Scotland)—In The Blackhouse, the first book in a trilogy starring Fin, the Edinburgh detective is sent to his native Outer Hebrides to investigate a murder there that bears an unsettling resemblance to one that has just occurred in Edinburgh.  Fin is a complex, empathetic character who's as moody and broody as the islands he once called home.  I've read a number of books by Peter May and Fin is my favorite of his many creations.


11.  Aaron Falk (Australia)—Like McTiernan, Jane Harper has published two crime novels featuring an intriguing male detective about whom I'd like to read more.  Aaron is a Federal Police investigator who's as underrated as Cormac Reily, but also committed and compassionate.  I was a *little* disappointed to discover that Harper's third novel doesn't feature this intriguing character (even though it was an excellent crime novel just the same).  Here's hoping her next one does.

There you go, eleven fictional detectives I enjoy reading about.  Which police(ish) sleuths do you dig?  What are your favorite crime novels (and/or writers)?  I'd love to know, especially if they're similar to the ones I've listed above.  Leave me a comment on this post and I'll gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT! 
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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